Money, the goal or the means?

Wednesday 06th June 2018 09:57 EDT

Many years ago, a wealthy uncle from Kenya told me money has no friends or family. As time has gone on this saying, unfortunately, becomes more and more stronger in my mind with the evidence it gathers. There are those who even distort reality, so it will fit with their perverted agenda. Some do this subtly, and some outright grossly. In other words, they lie. Money has become their god, they will lie and serve it, without any consideration for anything else. Health, family, relationships, and even their own sanity, are all sacrificed at the altar. 

Not all are like this, but most of the population are. There are the few rare souls who hold principles above money. Money will come and go, but they hold their word and principles above all else. You will not see this reality when you make money together, you will see the true reality of this when things don’t go to plan and you lose money together. The lower natures come out, right to the top of the surface. People whom you have known and traded with turn on you. Even that, I do not have an issue with, however, I do have issues when fantasies are made up and an attempt is made to make them real.

We are supposed to pursue money in order to live a fuller life. The aim of life is not meant to be in the pursuance of money, unless you are a very sad individual. The reason why we invest in property is a means to make money, the reason why you should make money is for sustenance and a more bountiful life. The issues arise when money becomes your end goal, an end in itself, and not a step to a higher place. Up until recently, all of our ‘short term’ transactions have made money. However, in recent years, a few ‘short term’ deals have become wobbly. One resulted in a loss and another two are in the process of becoming stabilised, both projects which I cannot foresee any further issues with. We have become stronger and wiser because of this experience. This experience has also separated the chaff from the wheat, in terms of who we deal with, and made us realise the value and worth of individuals who are still with us and continue to
trade. These are not necessarily the wealthy ones, but ones who value intentions and integrity above money.

Regarding our ‘longer term’ buy to let deals, we have never sourced a property for a client which has made a loss. A large part due to the location, local knowledge and due to the nature of property as an asset class. For me it has been an interesting journey, which has allowed us to streamline our focus and strengthen it.

Agony Agent is here to help!

Q: What do I need to do in order to get my property ready to let?

A: This question is too broad to completely answer here, as there is a lot to cover; and my answer would vary from property to property. Here I’ll give you some tips to start with: Make sure that you have obtained permission to let your property out from your mortgage company, or the freeholder if it is in an apartment. There may be special clauses, or paperwork for you to complete. Make sure you have any necessary planning permissions if you are making any changes. For example, if you are converting a property to an HMO (house in multiple occupation). In some cases, you will need
permission from the freeholder to carry out works.

If there are any gas appliances at the property you will need to comply with the Gas Regulations. The appliances will have to be checked by a Gas Safe Contractor who will give you a certificate. The check must be done before the tenants go in, and annually thereafter. Make sure you provide your tenants with a copy.

You will need to comply with all the various safety regulations. For example, all furniture provided must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings Regulations. This means that all soft furnishings, e.g. sofas, headboards, cushions and cloth covers on seats, mattresses etc. must be fire retardant and carry the relevant label. You will need to ensure your property’s EPC rating is an E or above, as anything lower than this would not be allowed to be marketed.

Smoke alarms must be fitted on all floors where there is living accommodation, and a carbon monoxide alarm in all rooms with the facility to burn solid fuel. These need to be tested on the first day of the tenancy, and then become the responsibility of the tenant. Although it is not a general legal requirement at present (unless your property is an HMO), you should get the electrical wiring regularly checked, as you will be held responsible if it is found to be defective. 

Make sure you have adequate insurance cover, general household insurance will not be sufficient. There are specialist policies available for landlords. Keep records of all work done and all receipts, and any certificates and guarantees. It is a good idea to have an independent inventory done to list of all furniture, electrical equipment, and general items in the property, with a note of their condition and to check this over every time the property is vacated and then re-let. 

Remember, this doesn’t have to be a hassle. We can take the headache for you. Get in touch to see how we can help.

Richard Bond

Lettings Manager

Sow & Reap

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